cover image The Story Until Now: A Great Big Book of Stories

The Story Until Now: A Great Big Book of Stories

Kit Reed. Wesleyan Univ, $35 (432p) ISBN 978-0-8195-7349-0

The prolific Reed (What Wolves Know) has been a significant figure in speculative fiction and literature for over 50 years. This impressive tome collects 34 of her short works, including six previously unpublished stories and others gathered from across the expanse of her career. Reed appears to have an essential dissatisfaction with the world, but the manner in which she expresses it varies greatly from story to story: claustrophobic generational paranoia in “Denny,” absurdist humor in “The Attack of the Giant Baby,” melancholy survivor’s guilt in “In the Squalus,” and smirkingly betrayed revolutionary ideals in “Songs of War.” Reed’s fiction shows a remarkable consistency of quality; her prose is carefully shaped, with the clarity of diamonds. Often dark but always worth reading, this collection is a must-have for both those new to Reed and those who have been following her work for decades. Agent: John Silbersack, Trident Media Group. (Mar.)